Catalogue description Race Relations Board: Minutes and Papers

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Details of CK 2
Reference: CK 2
Title: Race Relations Board: Minutes and Papers

This series includes records of the Race Relations Board under both the 1965 and 1968 Race relations Act.

Records of the Race Relations Board under the 1965 Act mainly consist of minutes of Board Meetings, circulated papers and files dealing with cases investigated under the Race Relations Acts 1965-1968.

The majority of files in the series relate to the Board under the 1968 Act. Files in the series include all cases taken to court by the Board or where proceedings were withdrawn on legal advice or following satisfactory settlement. Also included are selected cases dealt with by Board committees in the first instance and following referral by regional committees. Selected cases of particular policy or procedural significance are also included together with a complete set of two regional Committee files (those of the West Metropolitan and West Midlands Conciliation Committees).

There is also a set of Industrial Machinery reports, together with selected appeals, in connection with employment complaints of racial discrimination within industries possessing such machinery.

Date: 1965-1980

Meetings of the Board were numbered in continuous series from 1965 to 1977; other file series were discontinued and renumbered in 1968. Original file references of the Conciliation Committee files indicate Region/year of registration/serial number within the year.

Related material:

Files in the Home Office Racial Disadvantage (RDI) file series are in:

HO 376

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 3173 file(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure
Administrative / biographical background:

To secure compliance with the Race Relations Act 1965 the Race Relations Board was established, consisting of a chairman and two other members, all appointed by the Home Secretary. In its turn the Board appointed local conciliation committees which received complaints of discrimination, investigated them and attempted to find solutions by conciliation. In cases in which conciliation had failed or the settlement had been breached, reports were sent to the Board which then asked the Attorney General to institute civil proceedings in the county court. Proceedings could only be initiated by decision of the Board and only the Board could be party to proceedings.

The work of the Board was greatly extended by the Race Relations Act 1968, which increased its size to twelve members. The members normally served for 2 years and were eligible for re-election. Board and Committee service was unpaid except for expenses.

Three sub-committees of the Board (Employment, General Services and Finance & Legal) exercised delegated powers of investigation of certain complaints (i.e. complaints against the Crown and such complaints as from time to time the Board deemed of special interest such as complaints against private members of clubs and complaints concerning motor or life insurance).

The 1968 Act also empowered the Board to begin civil proceedings on its own authority and to investigate cases of discrimination even if no complaint had been received.

The Act of 1968, finally, provided for those industries so minded to establish machinery for investigation of employment complaints of racial discrimination within the industry; dissatisfied complainants had right of appeal to the Race Relations Board.

The Board was abolished by the Race Relations Act 1976, which amalgamated it with the Community Relations Commission to form the Commission for Racial Equality.

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